Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The office of Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott is offering some safety tips for the public, as a part of his declaring October "Crime Prevention Month."
Everyone is advised to follow these basic steps to increase your own personal security:
- Park in well-lighted areas and lock your car-even if you're just running into the store for a minute. Never leave your purse, briefcase or gym bag in your car. Place them in the trunk.
- Always lock your vehicle doors after entering and leaving the vehicle.
- Have your keys in your hands and ready to go so you don't have to linger before entering your car.
- Before getting into you car, check the backseat and floor. Get into your vehicle and lock the door immediately before settling yourself or packages.
- Do not burden yourself with too many packages or bags. Ask a store clerk or security to assist you if you have too much to carry.
- If you think you are being followed, drive to a well-let public place that you know is open, and run inside for help.
- Don't stop to help disabled motorists. Go to a phone to request help for them.
- When being driven home, request the driver to wait until you are safely inside.
- Never leave your garage door opener inside your vehicle, especially if your car is parked in front of your house.
In and Around Public Transportation
- Try to avoid isolated bus stops.
- Stand away from the curb until the bus or other public transportation arrives.
- Don't open your purse or wallet while boarding the bus. Have your bus pass or money easily accessible.
- During off hours, ride as close to the driver as possible.
- Stay alert and be aware of those around you.
- If someone bothers you, change seats and/or tell the driver.
- Keep your purse or bag in front of you and hold it close to your body with both hands.
- Check your purse or wallet if someone is jostling, crowding, or pushing you.
- Carry your wallet inside your jacket or front pocket. You can place a rubber band around your wallet, which may alert you if someone tries to remove it from your pocket.
- If you see any suspicious activity, tell the driver or notify law enforcement.